Image credits: The Economic Times
“You can't buy a good reputation; you must earn it.”
- Harvey Mackay
Like Harvey Mackay, many great entrepreneurs of the century know that a good brand reputation cannot be bought with money. In the business world, reputation is the only currency that matters.
Your brand highlights the most prominent attributes of your business. It is the appearance and soul of your enterprise; it defines and distinguishes your work from others on the market. If you, as the owner of the business, have a great reputation in running it well, then it will naturally prosper. Old customers will stay loyal to you and new ones will keep flowing in. A solid brand reputation is a magic cloak that will get you high above your rivals.
Building a great reputation is like building a company; you need to do it one brick at a time. We have put together a list of recommendations that is a great guideline to get you started.
Establish Your Expertise
The basis of the brand should consist of your knowledge, experience, and skill set. These are the primary factors that build customer trust. Your product may be made of the best quality, but people won’t know until they buy it. And they would like to know everything about your product before paying for it. A paradox, we know, but that’s where brand marketing comes in.
There are many ways to prove your expertise. You can highlight it through content – informational posts, helpful guides, videos, you name it. Share knowledge that is relevant to your products. For instance, if you sell clothing items:
explain why you prefer this material over other ones;
give your professional taste on fashion and style;
advise how to dress smartly;
teach smart hacks related to clothing (ironing, folding, washing).
Your goal is to persuade customers of your competence. Talk is cheap, you need to demonstrate your worth and show people why you’re good at what you do.
Presence On Social Media
The majority (if not all) of your potential customers are on social media. Our society is always online. Social media platforms from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, to TikTok are buzzing with people interacting, gossiping, connecting, reading the latest news, and sharing their thoughts. It’s never been easier to communicate with a wide group of people, who are your potential customers.
Furthermore, aside from advertising and establishing your expertise on social media, engaging with content that mentions your brand allows you to listen to customer feedback. What do they like or dislike about your new product? Which type of products do they wish to see more of? Social media listening is great to understand what your customers are thinking.
If you want to grow as a brand on the internet, you need to consider Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and make it work for you. The Internet is a vast library of information, and SEO allows people to find what they want. It’s an instrument that helps Google keep track of searches and build a hierarchy of helpful websites according to the content. If you want to reach new customers, you better work your way to the top of that hierarchy.
Keywords and backlinks are what hoist your brand up. The right keywords in your content will match what people are searching for, and the internet algorithms will place it higher on the results page, considering your work to be worthy of attention.
Backlinks are proof that what you post is trustworthy. When other websites have links to your content, those are called backlinks. The more high-quality links you have, the more valuable your website becomes.
Getting a link from a credible source may be difficult if you don’t have allies. There are agencies that can even provide you with .edu backlinks. It is recommended to find a proper partner with high expertise in SEO and link building.
Make your content SEO-friendly, and it will result in higher traffic, more customers, and other benefits. If you find it too technical to do it yourself, you might want to leave it to professionals.
Make It About Them
Always take care of your customers, and make sure they know you care. Relationships with customers today can become rather personal quickly, as it is relatively easy to communicate over various channels like social media, casual chats and business connections.
In the past, a person could not interact with a company through leaving public comments on the website or leaving a Google review. They were less likely to make an angry video about any negative experiences with that company. But look at the tech-savvy times we live in now. People are inclined to share their thoughts and emotions openly, and these feelings can have immediate results on your brand reputation.
However, you can turn the tables around and use it to your benefit. This transparency online allows you to build a more personal relationship with your customers. You can satisfy public attention and win their love and respect. Today, online businesses are more than an exchange of money for goods - it is a trade of values.
What should you do?
Be responsive. It’s the first proof of your attention. Your customer support should be top-notch: timely, polite, endearing, helpful. Moreover, you should browse comment sections on your social media platforms and answer some of them. Make sure to show appreciation to positive comments and reviews with a simple “thank you”. The more love you show in your interaction with a customer, the more acknowledgment you will get from them.
The same goes for the negative comments. Respond to them as soon as you can. Address the problem and offer compensation if applicable. During the problem resolution, stay respectful and polite.
Your online presence is under constant surveillance. Any thoughtless action might generate a surge of outrage that might kill a brand. If that ever happens, remember to admit to a mistake and apologise bravely. One of the secrets to the immortality of a brand reputation is to cherish your customers’ experience. Keep it upbeat, welcoming, comfortable, and show them you care!
Content is one of the main building blocks of your brand. You influence how people see the company through the content you publish. Thus, it is important to know what you must do with your content.
Publish content consistently
Use different types of content for various goals
guides, blog posts, infographics for educational purposes
emails for informational purposes
Make your own choices about what type of content to use and when to promote
Create content that matches your brand; do not break the character
Know your audience, make it about them, be helpful
Keep learning more about content marketing
Ultimately, you should find what works the best for your brand.
Monitor Your Brand And Get Better
Once you’ve built a brand, it’s a never-ending journey to polish and increase its reputation. Monitor your brand by:
keeping track of how things are going for you;
observing how your rivals and ally brands do - react appropriately to their tactics;
keeping your content consistent.
Analyze your success and downfalls, keep track of statistics, learn what you can, and improve from there.
Experienced business people can write a book on how to build a brand and not cover everything. This topic is too wide to encompass within one article, although like us, many have tried to do it. Besides, trends are changing, the online environment evolves, and entrepreneurs need to look for new strategies.
This post was contributed by Marie Barnes, a contributing writer to various websites. She is an enthusiastic blogger interested in writing about technology, social media, work, travel, lifestyle, and current affairs. Follow her on Medium.
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